Council of Governors chairman and Kakamega Governor, Wycliffe Oparanya, on Wednesday, October 16, admitted culpability in a ghost deal that cost the taxpayer a mind-boggling Ksh25.9 billion.
Oparanya made the startling admission during a grilling session held by the Senate ad-hoc committee on health, after he was summoned over the shady Managed Equipment Service (MES) deal, KTN News reported.
The embattled governor was left speechless at times, as the Senators questioned how the Ksh25.9 billion couldn't be accounted for, yet all the governors had signed the approval for the contentious deal.
“We signed it under duress because the pressure was too much. When I signed it, I didn’t even want to read it," Oparanya responded in his defence.
However, moments later, he was exposed by the Committee chair and Isiolo Senator, Fatuma Dullo, who questioned his role as the CoG after he claimed not to have been aware of the questionable transactions.
"Then you must have failed in your responsibility as custodian of devolution in those counties, because we were given the information (of the Ksh25.9 billion that is unaccounted for) by the controller of budgets on October 15," Ms Dullo remarked after the dumbfounded CoG denied any knowledge of the missing funds.
The CoG Chief Executive Officer, Jacqueline Mogeni, contradicted Oparanya by stating that she had duly informed him of the Ksh25.9 billion funds which were unaccounted for.
The Kakamega governor then admitted that the entire MES deal was a huge embezzlement scandal, going on to reveal that no records existed of any contracts signed between the Ministry of Health and the contractor.
"Up to now we don't know the cost of the equipment because that information was not availed to us," he stated.
He went on to claim that the county bosses protested to President Uhuru Kenyatta about the shady deal.
On July 3, 2019 a damning exposé by Africa Uncensored, exposed how the government allegedly approved and accepted bids to supply machines worth billions, long before an Intergovernmental Forum Committee (IFC) had actually sat down and decided on whether they actually needed any machines.
The report also brought to light the secrecy involved in the actual contract papers, claiming that only a handful of contractors and the Ministry of Health had actually seen the contracts.
Below is a video of the governor appearing before the Senate:
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